A landfill in Vermont, a lake in Quebec and a question: How’s the water?

Photo: Residents and officials on both sides of the border have expressed concerns about how the leachate percolating from the Coventry Landfill in Newport, Vt., is being treated before it gets discharged into Lake Memphremagog. (Rebecca Martel/CBC)

Lake Memphremagog is main water supply for many communities, but toxicity testing stopped in 2009

Plans for the expansion of a landfill in Vermont are seeing pushback from residents and environmental groups north of the border.

Waste water from the Coventry Landfill, in Newport, Vt., is treated at a publicly owned facility on the shores of Lake Memphremagog. The treated water is then discharged into the lake.

The lake straddles the U.S.-Canada border, and is the main water supply for many municipalities in the Eastern Townships, including Sherbrooke.

While talks of an expansion have been ongoing for years, concerns among some who live near the lake deepened this week after Vermont admitted it hasn’t been monitoring whether the treated water is affecting the lake.

"We are confused, we are disappointed and we are certainly very worried," said Robert Benoît, the president of Memphremagog Conservation, a group that is one of the most vocal advocates for the preservation of the lake.

How it works

Landfill leachate is a liquid that percolates from trash in landfills. It drains through a system of pipes, is collected in tanks then transferred to a pumping station.

The Coventry Landfill has the option to ship it to five different locations, including the municipal treatment facility in Newport, on the south shore of Lake Memphremagog.

The leachate is treated using […]

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Summary
A landfill in Vermont, a lake in Quebec and a question: How's the water?
Article Name
A landfill in Vermont, a lake in Quebec and a question: How's the water?
Description
Expansion talks have been ongoing, but concerns deepened this week after Vermont admitted it hasn't monitored whether treated water is affecting the lake.
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CBC News
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